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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The S4L Metal Album of the Year 2015: The Awakening - P.O.D.

Starting to get together my favourite Albums of the Year and what's clear is that I've been listening to lots of different styles of music throughout the year. I refuse to be a musical snob and only focus on one particular style of music. I've often found that when I've been so narrow minded with regard to music I have missed out on hearing other great things. The way I look at it is if the music is something that I like (no matter the artist) then I'm happy to listen. I understand that others don't adopt such a policy but it's something I would encourage.

First out of the bag is the Metal Album of the Year. I don't listen to loads of metal but there were a few things this year that struck me as being worthwhile spending time playing: All That Remains album The Order of Things was pretty sharp, especially the track This Probably Won't End Well. Blessthefall's To Those Left Behind was another I really liked as was Shinedown's Threat to Survival.

But the one I've gone for as my favourite of the year is by a band who I have loved for more than twenty years - P.O.D. (Payable On Death) Over  23 years they have released some great albums (Snuff the Punk, Brown, Fundamental Elements of Southtown, Satellite, Testify, and When Angels and Serpents Dance) and fantastic singles (Southtown, Rock the Party, School of Hard Knocks, Alive, Sleeping Awake, Lights Out, and Addicted being just a few of them).

The Awakening by San Diego Metalists P.O.D. is their ninth studio album and in what is a first for them it's a concept album! P.O.D. don't really have the same kind of draw as they did back when Satellite album hit the big time for them but it hasn't stopped them from still looking for ways to expand their horizons. With Howard Benson back at the controls for the fifth album they have certainly done something very different and it does seem to work well. I won't say much about the songs because the video below of the band discussing the album track by track does that better than I could.  One thing I do like about the album that I will say is that there is a great sense of hope weaving through this album even amid the darkness of some of the themes of the story created by the concept.

The album was deemed a commercial failure after dropping off the charts after only a week but a lot of that has to be down to the inability of the record label to give sufficient promotion to it. Regardless of that I really loved it and am happy to declare it The S4L Metal Album of the Year for 2015.

The Awakening - P.O.D.
Universal/T-Boy
Produced by Howard Benson
Released 21st August 2015
US Chart #75

P.O.D.
    Sonny Sandoval - vocals
    Marcos Curiel - guitar
    Traa Daniels - bass
    Wuv Bernardo - drums, percussion

Additional musicians
    Lou Koller (Sick of It All) - guest vocals on RevoluciΓ³n
    Maria Brink (In This Moment) - guest vocals on Criminal Conversations

The Awakening Album

P.O.D. Talk About The Awakening Track By Track

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